Beginning on September 28, the “Act on Prohibition of Illegal Requests and Bribes (popularly called “the Kim Young-ran Act”) began to take effect. The following are major items that public workers and employees of private schools and media firms among others who are subject to the act should remember.
1. Principle of 30,000 won, 50,000 won and 100,000 won
In principle, public workers among others cannot take money or valuables from those involved with their work. But they are allowed to take a food exceeding 30,000 won (US$27), a gift exceeding 50,000 won (US$45) and a cash gift exceeding 100,000 won (US$90) for smooth performance of their duties, socialization, formality or mutual aid.
2. Punishment for receiving money or valuables exceeding 1 Million Won (US$900) per occasion or 3 million won (US$2,700) in aggregate per year
A public official will be punished (imprisonment for up to three years or a fine not exceeding 30 million won) if he or she receives, demands or promises to receive money or valuables exceeding one million won per occasion or three million won in aggregate per year
3. Saying No to free golfing
The Kim Young-ran Act basically prohibits a govern official from using a golf club at the expense of a person connected to his or her duties as the act regards free golfing as receiving a kind of entertainment. In addition, when a public worker plays golf with a person with golf club membership, discounts such as lower green fees will come within the purview of taking money or valuables.
4. When situation is nebulous, Go Dutch
As the concept of “job relevance” is vague, there are many confusing cases of whether or not they are subject to the anti-graft law. With regard to this matter the Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission said, “If you are confused, go Dutch.”
5. If you receive illegal solicitation, reject and report it
A public worker should clarify his or her position to reject illegal solicitation. Nonetheless, unless illegal solicitation stops, the public worker should report it to the head of his or her organization.
6. Punishing both givers and takers
Whoever illegally gives or promises to give money or valuables to a public worker, he or she will be fined or criminally punished. In addition, if an employee of a legal body commits an illegal solicitation, the legal body is subject to fine in accordance with joint penal provisions.
7. External lecture should be reported in writing
If a government official delivers a lecture outside, the official has to report it in writing to the head of his or her organization in advance. Moreover, if a government official receives a lecture fee which is more than reported, the official has to report it in writing to the head of his or her organization and return the surplus. Otherwise, the official should pay a fine of less than five million won.
8. Protection will be given to those who report illegal solicitation or bribery
Anyone who reports illegal solicitation or bribery will be given personal protection, a cash prize of 200 million won or less or 3 billion won or less in compensation money.